1/6/2010 12:23:00 PM
2010 predictions - Frank Meehan, CEO, INQ
The mobile industry is undoubtedly in the middle of one of
its major landmark moments of change that happens every 10 years.
There is a redefining of the 'mobile phone', a reordering of the
dominant players as big companies fade and new players emerge, as
well as a rebalancing of the relations between manufacturers,
operators and retailers. Nokia did it to Motorola 10 years ago,
and we've seen RIM and Apple do it to Nokia more recently.
It is driven by new companies cutting through existing
perceptions, bringing an altogether new proposition and shaking
up the market.
Apple and BlackBerry have risen to the point now where they are
the only two handset brands that trendsetters around the world's
major creative, media and business hubs will consider for their
choice of phone.
Nokia and Samsung have completely fallen out of the aspirational
market and are trying desperately to claw back in. For them to
make a significant leap in their products, it will require a
massive overhaul in mentality, culture, platforms and operations.
They are still selling more handsets than Apple and BlackBerry,
but it's largely basic handsets with low margins.
Apple and RIM have their own challenges. RIM is in a vulnerable
state, with the looming threat of Apple producing an exceptional
email solution to challenge the BlackBerry.
Apple could be a victim of its own success. The cachet of the
iPhone is diminishing as it becomes ubiquitous, reaching places
like Tesco. There could be a backlash, with consumers falling
into several camps: too expensive; poor messaging device;
principled anti-Apple; or simply being contrarian.
Aspirational consumers are looking for something fresh outside
Apple and BlackBerry, in terms of brand, design and experience,
to break out of the uniformity.
This agenda is also being encouraged by operators, which are keen
to stunt Apple and push rival brands.
The market will be open to innovation, change and disruption in
2010. Obviously, we see a big opportunity for INQ next year with